- Китай намерен отказаться от статуса "мировой свалки". На сегодня Поднебесная ежегодно импортирует около 40 миллионов тонн мусора из-за рубежа, однако намерена перекрыть многие каналы ввоза иностранного утиля. Впрочем, эксперты считают, что это будет невыгодно для китайской экономики.
Published on November 19, 2012 22:35
"Areas processing imported garbage, especially imported plastics, are facing a critical environmental challenge. Locals have difficulty securing drinking water, not to mention the damage it does to the soil and air," Wang told the Global Times, in regard to his experience tracking how imported rubbish is handled in North China.
Wang is not the only one closely watching the debate over imported waste. British newspaper the Daily Telegraph reported earlier this month that China has begun to refuse to recycle Britain's rubbish.
China is not a dumpster
According to the Daily Telegraph, the UK's Environment Agency has warned that in this year alone, 17 containers, with 420 tons of plastics, have been refused by Asian countries as the Chinese government is moving swiftly to crack down on "dirty" plastics in the wake of new regulations that took effect in October.
Despite being the nation that used to accept nearly 70 percent of the recyclable plastics that the UK shipped to the Far East, Chinese officials have banned the imports of unwashed used plastics.
New requirements also stipulate that companies cannot accept or process the unwashed plastic leftovers or paper shipped from overseas without preliminary treatment, even if those companies are certified by the government.
Other than plastics, waste including used clothes, paper and electronics has also found its way into China and some 40 million tons of waste was shipped to the country in 2010 alone, the Ministry of Environmental Protection said.
Chinese customs authorities are also tightening up control on the smuggling of overseas waste.
The Xinhua News Agency reported in June that customs officials in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, had closed five cases relating to the smuggling of urban waste by March this year, involving over 4,000 tons of rubbish from the Netherlands.
After being smuggled into China, paper forms of waste can be priced at 2,000 yuan ($321) for recycling, and plastic bottles 4,000 yuan, but the remainder is often left untreated, reported Xinhua.
Web users have welcomed the report as a signal that China is saying no to imported solid waste and a higher priority is being placed on the environment.
An environmental crisis
The article triggered online comments calling for a halt to imports of garbage, for the sake of the environment.
Zhao Zhangyuan, a researcher with the Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, told the Global Times that imported waste has long been a significant problem.
"About 70 percent of the electronic waste was dumped on the country's southeastern coast, causing severe heavy metal pollution. It's causing residents in some areas to suffer dermatological diseases and have a higher chance of getting malignant tumors," Zhao said.
Zhao himself has continuously called for attention to be given to the situation in these places.
However, as most waste processors are privately-owned businesses who smuggle waste for a profit, regulations and strict law enforcement are needed for the imports and the pollution they cause.
Lianjiao village in Guangdong Province is the country's base for recycling plastics.
However, the landscape surrounding this lucrative industry contains garbage littered everywhere and black water flowing over the ground, the Guangzhou Daily reported in 2007 as the province made attempts to transform the area into something more environmentally palatable.
The same report also found that some of the small plastics processors have simply relocated far from the centralized base, so they could continue operations.
Wang said the situation is also dire in the north, adding that perhaps even more disturbingly, locals lack environmental awareness and thus have no complaints.
The Beijing Morning Post quoted senior experts from the ministry in 2007 as saying that the country itself will face a torrent of domestic electronic waste in the next 10 or 15 years due to the soaring consumption in the country, in combination with the huge amount of imports.
The country also joined the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, which became active in 1995.
But experts have been calling not only for a series of tightened domestic regulations on private business owners, but also upon the international community to respect the convention and stop shipping hazardous waste.
Some Web users have dubbed this "waste colonialism," as economists downplayed the political influence in economic cases.
Wang said that prior to the 1990s, dumping was often free or with low compensation, but with increasing demand for raw materials after the 1990s, the country started to purchase solid waste from countries such as South Korea and the US.
"Plastic waste is only sold for $30 a ton in South Korea, a price over 10 times lower than the price here," Wang said, adding that the huge profit emboldens entrepreneurs to smuggle the waste.
Fu Weigang, a research fellow at the Shanghai Institute of Finance and Law, told the Global Times that the country once profited from recycling waste from developed countries at the beginning of the reform and opening up period, but as it is getting richer, its environment should be prioritized.
"Some areas that have accumulated a fortune from waste processing are starting to optimize their industries to less polluted forms with lower energy consumption," Fu said.
Fu added that as the processing technology in China becomes more mature, the country may start to import more waste.
"As long as the trades are consensual, it shouldn't be called 'colonialism.' And the point now is how to improve environmental protection technology as a whole," Fu said.
- Зарубеж все меньше инвестирует в Китай. С начала года поток иноинвестиций в КНР показал положительный рост лишь в мае, в остальные месяцы падал по сравнению с показателями предыдущего года. За три квартала 2012-го Китай получил 91,7 млрд долларов прпямых иностранных инвестиций, что на 3,45 проц ниже по сравнению с аналогичным периодом прошлого года.
- Российский культурный центр ведет переговоры об открытии филиала в Тяньцзине. Пока главная площадка Россотрудничества устраивает в Тяньцзине только выездные сессии по преподаванию русского языка как иностранного. Каждая из них собирает десятки преподавателей из многих вузов, где преподается русский. В связи с этим Тяньцзиньский университет иностранных языков посоветовал Российскому культурному центру "упорядочить" свое присутствие в соседнем с Пекином мегаполисе. Результаты переговоров будут известны в ближайшие месяцы.